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Kayak company to pay for full-time deputy patrolling Weeki Wachee River

Posted: 8:05 PM, Sep 25, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-25 20:05:08-04

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — Solutions could be coming soon to overcrowding and the lack of patrol on the Weeki Wachee River.

People who know the river, know that it’s a combination of a lot of things that are creating too many kayaks, too little patrol, and too much trash on the natural spring.

"All of us are very concerned with the health of the Weeki Wachee River for the long term. It’s one of our greatest resources here in Hernando County," said John Allocco, Hernando county commissioner.

The county has little control because the state owns and regulates much of the land. But the solution could be with the biggest kayak vendor on the river, “Guest Services" which launches kayaks from Weeki Wachee State Park and picks them up miles downriver at Roger’s Park -- the only county-owned spot on the river.

On Tuesday, after hearing the concerns of many citizens, the county commissioners decided to make changes in their contract with "Guest Services." Instead of renewing the vendor’s two-year contract to use Roger’s Park for $33,000 a year, the county added onto the contract that "Guest Services" must pay for a full-time county deputy to patrol the river. They also included verbiage that no more than 400 kayaks could be launched per day from Weeki Wachee State Park.

County Commissioners hope these amendments will help control some of the issues on the river.